By Sabelo Mamba, Swazi Observer
A self-proclaimed sex worker, Cynthia Shongwe wept uncontrolably when she narrated to High Court Judge Mary Sey how her friend was raped and stabbed to death at a waiting room near the Mbabane Government Hospital at around midnight.
Shongwe said she was sitting on a pavement next to Atlas Garage in Mbabane in the company of Lomagugu Mavuso (deceased) and a certain Sindie when the accused, Mxolisi Sukati approached them at around midnight on May 2, 2010. She told the court that they were form KaLafata Bar and Restaurant. Shongwe testified that Sukati dropped E200 in front of them and requested to have sexual intercourse with the deceased for the whole night since it was already midnight.
She said Lomagugu, however, declined to take the E200 offer until Sindie voluntarily agreed to go away with Sukati after he had given her E150. Shongwe said Sindie dissapeared for a while with Sukati and came back to them. She told the court that Sindie was later taken away by a certain motor vehicle. Shongwe said Sukati then dragged the deceased across the Mbabane-Manzini highway to the waiting room next to the Mbabane Government.
“The accused person later resurfarced walking alone and informed me that Lomagugu had been raped and stabbed, dumped behind the waiting room,” she testifed. As Shongwe gave her evidence, she broke down forcing the judge to stop the court proceedings and ordered the court officials to fetch some water and, tissue for the witness.
Shongwe, who was overcome by emotions as she made her submissions, wept uncontrollably throughout her evidence. She said it was after Sukati had walked towards Engen Garage that she decided to hire a taxi to ferry her home at Nkoyoyo
Asked by the defence attorney Leo Gama as to why she never immediately reported the incident to the patrons at KaLafata Bar or to the police, Shongwe said she was scared of Sukati since it was already dark. Shongwe said she also assumed that Lomagugu had only been stabbed, but not dead. She testified that she later received a call from Sindie informing her that Lomagugu had died before she arrived at her home in Nkoyoyo in the company of police officers.
Shongwe said she was made to record a statement. Crown Counsel Nomvuyo Hlophe was leading her in evidence. Sukati is facing a murder charge.
‘Accused told me he was from Cuddle Puddle’
Mxolisi Sukati told his aunt before his arrest that he was from Cuddle Puddle in Ezulwini when he came cross the incident, Judge Mary Sey was informed. Dumsile Sukati, who is the accused person’s aunt, testified that on May 4, 2010 at around 8pm, Mxolisi came home at Mbekelweni from work while she was washing dishes.
She said Mxolisi greeted her and enquired if she had seen yesterday newspaper. “I told him that I had seen the newspaper he was talking about,” she said. “He again asked me if I did see the girl who was being taken by the police at the Mbabane Government Hospital waiting room. In response, I told him that I saw her. I further made a comment to the effect that it was uncessary to kill the girl because she had already been raped. I then asked Mxolisi what he would have done in the circumstances. He told me that he would not have killed her. I subsequently asked him if he did witness the incident. He said it was around 11pm while driving from Cuddle Puddle to Mbabane in the company of his boss’ child when he heard someone raising an alarm near the waiting room at the Mbabane Government Hospital,” said the aunt.
“He said he suddenly saw a man lifting up his pants and ran up the foot steps leading to the government hospital. He said he tried to chase after him, but he outpaced them,” added the aunt in her evidence.
Sukati was being led in evidence by Crown Counsel Nomvuyo Hlophe. The defence attorney, Leo Gama indicated that he had no questions to ask this witness.
‘Accused will deny all this’
Lawyer Leo Gama said the accused person, Mxoli Sukati would dispute the evidence adduced before court. Gama said Sukati would tell the court that at no stage did he inform Cynthia Shongwe that Lomagugu had been raped and stabbed.
He said Sukati never spoke to Shongwe about the incident, but only met Sindie. The lawyer told the court Sukati would deny in his evidence-in- chief that his pants were blood stained as alleged by Shongwe. Shongwe testified that Sukati’s pants had blood spots on his thighs when he informed her about the raping and stabbing incident. She said she was so shocked.
Gama put it to Shongwe that she should have reported the incident to the police long before they (police) got to her home in Sindie’s company. In response, Shongwe said by then she was not aware that Lomagugu had actually been killed until she received a call from Sindie confirming it. The case continues.
[This news article was sourced from The Swazi Observer: Sex worker weeps inside High Court ]